“Human beings are not born once
and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but … life obliges
them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
At birth I was given gifts from my parents that I had no say in. I
came into this world with genetic predispositions. I have my mother’s smile and
my father’s dark skin. So it was no surprise at 7 when I asked my mother why I was
black and she wasn’t. She didn’t hesitate, she didn’t stutter, she simply
called me a “black beauty.” I came into this world with the skin tone that I absolutely
adore. But then again, I came into a world that took it upon itself to regret
this on my behalf. They always say to me, “If it only it had been reversed.” And
to that I always say, “Then I wouldn’t smile as much as I do, and I wouldn’t love
words the way he does.”
I want to be grateful for all compliments, but it’s hard to do
when people almost always single out my hair. They say, “hey at least you have your
mother’s hair.” So they cussed me out when I took to the scissor. They almost
never see that I have my mother’s feet and her hard to live with paranoia.
“Why him?” they casually ask, when I single out the boy that makes
me weak in the knees. They never see that they usually remind me of my father,
stoic with incredible talent and the ability to make me laugh till my sides
The truth is, although people always say these things to me, I never
say anything back, but I wish I had said all this before it fucked with my
head. Because it is okay to tell someone that you like your hair the way it is
and that extra weight does not change your degree of self love. I have known at
an early age that we won’t always be what the world expects us to be. But it
took me 23 years to learn not to let that trifle with me. (Totally didn’t intend
that to rhyme)

“If I didn’t define myself for
myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten
– Audre Lorde
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